11 Things to Know About: Corporate Fundraising
Not-for-profits need funds to achieve their missions. Learn how to get corporate sponsors to fund you and your idea. Determine which companies are right for your organization/program, how to secure your dream corporate sponsors, and how to keep your sponsors happy.
- Pick companies that make sense. If you're doing something with the environment, make sure to find out what companies in your area are eco-friendly.
- Be strategic about who you reach out to. You might think that you should first reach out to the Community Relations department, but if you have a great marketing proposal take it straight to the Marketing department.
- Don't be afraid to pick up the phone. In this era of Facebook, email, and Twitter, sometimes a good old fashioned phone call does the trick.
- Be creative and stand out from the crowd. If you have to, send a man in a gorilla costume, a belly dancer, or a singing telegram, just to get their attention. That’s too much $$? Find out their favorite candy and send that with a note.
- Know everything about the company. If you want to work with an awesome company like Sprint, you should know that Samsung is one of their exclusive carriers. These important details will help to set you apart from the competition.
- Research the people. It's all about personal relationships. If your contact is a marathon runner and you are too, make sure to use that to your advantage.
- Present yourself as an asset. Companies differentiate themselves from the pack. If a company has a new youth marketing initiative, show them how you help meet their strategic needs.
- Use your youth to your advantage. There's nothing wrong with being young and adorable, just make sure to be humble at the same time.
- Be flexible with your request. Everyone is looking for money, but sometimes in-kind donations can be just as good, and they can even lead to money down the road.
- Don't get discouraged. There's lots of not-for-profits out there, and you need to believe that you're the best, and you're going to succeed.
- Maintain the relationship. Once you get that sponsorship donation, it's a lot easier to go back and ask them for more money for year two, than to start over again with someone else.